Bob gets initiative 18,
Joe gets initiative 12,
and their foes get initiative 14.

Bob is fully aware combat is taking place by initiative 14, but has not yet acted.
Bob wants to see what Joe does in response to being attacked.
Bob delays his action using the "Delay" action, which according to the PathFinder table "Actions in Combat" is categorised as a "No Action".
Is Bob still flat-footed when their foes attack both Bob and Joe?

This seems a case of a logical advantage (Bob can make a better choice about what to do) causing a RAW disadvantage (flat-footed) for no sensible reason.

I would posit there are words missing from the flat-footed condition.

A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, unable to react normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity, unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat or Uncanny Dodge class ability.
Characters with Uncanny Dodge retain their Dexterity bonus to their AC and can make attacks of opportunity before they have acted in the first round of combat.

For RAI would it make more sense to read:

A character who has not yet had the opportunity to act during a combat is flat-footed, ...

Sorry, question is simply "by RAW is Bob still flat-footed?" but I'd appreciate comment on the RAI vs RAW issue.


1 Answer 1


Even if you Delay you are no longer flat-footed

If you check the combat rules, under the Initiative, Flat-Footed sub-section it reads:

At the start of a battle, before you have had a chance to act (specifically, before your first regular turn in the initiative order), you are flat-footed.

When you delay, you have indeed had a chance to act and I think the wording in this case makes it clear that you are not supposed to be considered flat-footed even after you delay.

So to answer your specific example, Bob would not be flat-footed on the enemy's turn.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Sdjz. I missed that as I assumed the flat-footed description in the "Conditions" section would mention everything needed. Lazy reading on my part and lazy editing on Paizo's part. My question is answered and even went the way I hoped, I'm happy. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Jun 28, 2018 at 0:36

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